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Ashley S. Roman, MD
OB-GYN

Is It True Pregnant Women Shouldn't Take Baths?

Fact or fiction? Find out the truth.

There's nothing like a luxurious bath to unwind after a taxing day—and let's face it, when you're pregnant, pretty much every day is strenuous. But now that you're expecting, do you have to bid goodbye to those baths?

Not at all! (Sigh of relief.) Baths are safe, not to mention super-relaxing, when you're pregnant—but you do need to watch the water temperature. Pregnant women shouldn't let their core body temperature get higher than 102.2°F, especially in the first trimester, since there may be a greater risk for baby to be born with brain and spinal cord defects. But you're not likely to overheat in a bathtub, since the water cools over time and your upper body is actually out of the water.

To be extra-safe, test the water with a bath thermometer (you can get one made for babies, since you'll need one later anyway) and make sure it stays below 100°F. You should avoid hot tubs, jacuzzis and saunas, though. They can raise your body temperature dangerously high in just 10 minutes.